The Great White Tribe in Filipinia
72 Pages
English
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The Great White Tribe in Filipinia

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72 Pages
English

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Project Gutenberg's The Great White Tribe in Filipinia, by Paul T. Gilbert
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Title: The Great White Tribe in Filipinia
Author: Paul T. Gilbert
Release Date: March 22, 2008 [EBook #24897]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
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Contents
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The Great White Tribe in Filipinia
By Paul T. Gilbert
Cincinnati: Jennings and Pye New York: Eaton and Mains
Copyright, 1903, by Jennings and Pye
Preface The legendary white tribe that is said to wander in the mountains of Mindoro is but distantly related to the Great White Tribe now scattered through the greater part of Filipinia. Extending from the Babuyanes off Luzon, to Tawi-Tawi and Sibutu off the coast of Borneo, the Great White Tribe has made its presence felt throughout the archipelago. The following pages are the record of my own impressions and experiences in the Philippines. The few historical and geographical allusions made have been selected only as they were significant, explanatory, picturesque. A logical arrangement of the chapters will enable the reader to survey the islands as a great bird hovering above might do—will make the map of Filipinia “look like a postage-stamp.” I promise that the reader shall be introduced to all the most important members of the Great White Tribe, as well as to the representatives of races brown and black. We will peep through the hedge together as the savages and pagans execute their grotesque dances or perform their sacrifices to the god of the volcano. Furthermore, the reader shall attend the Oroquieta Ball with Maraquita and Don Julian, or, if he likes, with “Foxy Grandpa” and “The Arizona Babe.” I ought to dedicate this book to many people,—to that wonderful brown baby Primitivo, who has written that he “loves me the most best of all the world;” to “Fresno Bill,” that charter member of the Great White Tribe, with whom I have knocked around from Zamboanga to Vigan; or to that coterie of college men in old Manila who extended me so many courtesies while I was there. I send them all my compliments from the homeland, and ask the reader, if he will, to do likewise. CINCINNATI, OHIO, December, 1903.
Contents Chapter I.In Old Manila, II.AllAbout the Town, III.The White Man’s Life, IV.Around the Provinces, V.On Summer Seas, VI.Among the Pagan Tribes, VII.A Lost Tribe and the Servants of Mohammed, VIII.In a Visayan Village, IX.The “Brownies” of the Philippines, X.Christmas in Filipinia, XI.In a Visayan Home, XII.Leaves from a Note-book, 1.Skim Organizes the Constabulary, 2.Last Days at Oroquieta, XIII.In Camp and Barracks with the Officers and Soldiers of the Philippines, XIV.Padre Pedro, Recoleto Priest.—The Routine of a Friar in the Philippines, XV.General Rufino in the Moro Country, XVI.On the Iligan-Marahui Road, XVII.The Filipino at Play, XVIII.Visayan Ethics and Philosophy,
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Illustrations Map of Filipinia,  In Old Manila, AllAbout the Town, On Summer Seas, Negrito Pigmy Vagrants, Our Latest Citizens, In a Visayan Village, A Carabao, The Oldest Cathedral of Manila, General Rufino in Moro Country, Captain Isidro Rillas with the Datto, A Deserted Moro Shack, Moro Weapons (Spear and Dirk),
In Old Manila (River Opposite Custom-House)
Frontispiece Facing Page 8 26 68 98 120 128 144 238 256 256 274 274
Chapter I. In Old Manila. As the big white transport comes to anchor three miles out in the green waters of Manila Bay, a fleet of launches races out to meet the messenger from the Far West. The customs officers in their blue uniforms, the medical inspectors, and the visitors in white duck suits and panama hats, taking their ease upon the launches without the slightest sign of curiosity, give one his first impressions of the Oriental life—the white man’s easy-going life in the Far East. But the ideas of the newcomer are to undergo a change after his first few days on shore, when he takes up the grind, and realizes that his face is getting pasty—that the cool veranda and the drive on the Luneta do not constitute the entire program, even in Manila. Unwieldy lighters and strange-lookingcascosnow surround the transport, and the new arrival sees the Filipino for the first time. Under the woven helmet of the nearestcascosquats a shriveled woman, one of the witches from Macbeth, stirring a blackened pot of rice. A gamecock struggles at his tether in the stern, while the deck amidships swarms with wiry brown men, with bristling pompadours and feet like rubber, with wide-spreading toes. With unintelligible cries they crowd the gunwale, spurning the iron hull of the transport with long billhooks, as the heavy swell sucks out the water, leaving the streaming sluices and the great red hull exposed, and threatening at the inrush of the sea to bump thecascosoundly against the solid iron plates of the larger ship. A most disreputable-looking crew it is, the ragged trousers rolled up to the knee, the network shirts, or cotton blouses full of holes drawn down outside. Highly excitable, and yet good-natured as they work, they take possession and disgorge the ship, while Chinamen descend the hatchways after dirty clothes.
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Off in the hazy distance lies Cavite, or “the port,” with its white mist of war ships lying at anchor where the stout Dutch galleons rode, in 1647, to attack the Spanish caravels, retiring only after the Dutch admiral fell wounded mortally; where later, in the nineteenth century, the Spanish fleet put out to meet the white armada, the grim battleships ofAdmiral Dewey’s line. Where now the lazy sailing vessels and the blackened tramps are anchored, lay, in 1593, the hostile Chinese junks, with the barbaric eye daubed on the bows, the gunwales bristling with iron cannon that had scorned the typhoons of the China Sea and gathered in Manila Bay. This bay has been the scene of history-making since the sixteenth century. Soon after the flotilla of Legaspi landed the first Spanish settlers on the crescent beach around Manila Bay, the little garrison was put to test by the invasion of the Chinese pirate, Li Ma Hong. The memory of that brave defense in which the Spaniards routed the Mongolian invader, even the disaster of that first of May can never drown. In 1582 the little fleet put out against the Japanese corsair, Taifusa, and returned victorious. In 1610 the fleet of the Dutch pirates was destroyed off Mariveles. Those were stirring days when, but a few years later, the armada of Don Juan de Silva left Manila Bay again to test the mettle of the Dutch. Another naval encounter with the Dutch resulted in a victory for Spanish arms in 1620 in San Bernardino Straits. And off Corregidor, whose blue peak marks the entrance to Manila Bay, the Dutchmen were again defeated by the galleons of Don Geronimo de Silva. Now, near the Cavite shore, is seen the twisted wreck of one of the ill-fated men of war that went down under the intolerable fire from Dewey’s broad-sides. And in 1899 the Spanish transports left Manila Bay forever under the command of Don Diego de los Rios, with the remnant of the Spanish troops aboard. The city of Manila lies in a broad crescent, with its white walls and the domes of churches glowing in the sun. On landing at the Anda monument, you find the gray walls and the moss-grown battlements of the old garrison—a winding driveway leading across the swampy moat and disappearing through the mediæval city gate. This portion of Manila, laid out in the sixteenth century by De Legaspi, occupies the territory on the south side of the Pasig River at the mouth. The frowning walls of theCuartel de Santiagoloom above the bustling river opposite the customs-house. Here, where the youngAmerican army officers look out expectantly for the arrival of the transport that is to bring them their promotions, or to take them home, Geronimo de Silva was confined for not pursuing the Dutch vessels after the sea fight off Corregidor. The crumbling walls still whisper of intrigue and secrecy. The fort was built in 1587, and became the base of operations, not only against the pirate fleets of the Chinese, the Moros, and the Dutch, but also in the riots of the Chinese and the Japanese that broke out frequently in the old days. At one time twenty thousand Chinamen were beaten back by an alliance of the Spaniards, Japanese, and natives. On this historic ground the treaty was made in 1570 between the Spaniards and the rajas of Manila, Soliman and Lacandola. The walls survived the fire of 1603. The earthquake causing the evacuation of Manila could not shake them. Another prisoner of state, Corcuera, who had fought the Moros in the Jolo Archipelago, was locked up in theCuartel de Santiago at the instance of his Machiavellian successor. In 1642 the fort was strengthened by additional artillery because of an expected visit from the Dutch. Today a soldier in a khaki uniform mounts guard at the street entrance. The courtyard is adorned by pyramids of cannon-balls and tidy rows ofbonga-trees. The soldiers’ quarters line the avenue on either side, and bugle-calls resound where formerly was heard the call of the night watchman. A number of elaborate but narrow passages—dim, gloomy archways, where the chain and windlass stand dust-covered from disuse—connect the walled town with the extra-muros sections. ThePuerto del Parian, on the Ermita side, is one of the most imposing of these gates. Near the botanical gardens on the boulevard, at the small booth where Juliana sells cigars and bottled soda, following the turnpike over the moat, you come to the Parian gate, crowned by the Spanish arms, in crumbling bas-relief. Beyond the drawbridge—lowered never to be raised again—where rumbling pony-carts crowd the pedestrians to the wall, the passage opens into gloomy dungeons, with barred windows looking out upon the stagnant waters of the moat. With an involuntary shudder, you pass on. A native policeman, in an opera-bouffe uniform, stands at the further end in order to dispatch the vehicles that can not pass each other in the narrow gate. Windowless, yellow walls, upon the corners of the streets, make reckless driving very dangerous, and collisions frequently occur. A vacant sentry-box stands just within the city walls, and, turning here into the long street, you immediately find yourself in an old Spanish town. Here the grand churches and the public buildings are located; the cathedral, after the Romano-Byzantine style of architecture; thePalacio, built after Spanish notions of magnificence, around a courtyard shaded by rare trees; and many other edifices, used for official and ecclesiastic purposes. The streets are paved with cobblestone and laid out regularly in squares, in accordance with the plan of De Legaspi, so that one side or the other will be always in the shade. Beautiful plazas, with their palms and statues, frequently relieve the glare of the white walls. The sidewalks are narrow, and are sheltered by projecting balconies. The heavily-barred windows, ponderous doors, and quaint signboards give the streets an old-world aspect, whileCalle Realis spanned by an arched gallery, like the Venetian Bridge of Sighs. Tailor-shops, laundries, restaurants, and barber-shops, where swinging punkas waft the odor of bay rum through open doors, suggest a scene from some forgotten story-book or the stage-setting for an Elizabethan play. In the commercial streets the absence of show-windows will be noticed. Bookstores display their wares on stands outside, while of the contents of the other shops, one can obtain no adequate idea until he enters throu h the o en doors. The interestin si nboards, whether the can be inter reted or not, tend to excite
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the curiosity. “Los Dos Hermanos(The Two Brothers) is a tailor-shop, aSastreria; and the shoestore a Zapateria. The family grocery-store,El Globo long years, is advertised by a huge globe, battered from of service; andLa Lirabe known by the sign of the gold lyre., or the music-store, may These streets have been the scene of many a drama in the past. Earthquakes in 1645, in 1863, and 1880, caused great loss of life and property. The plague broke out in 1628, when Spaniards, Filipinos, and Chinese were swept off indiscriminately. Later, epidemics of smallpox and cholera have made a prison and a pesthouse of Manila. Only in 1902 the city suffered from a run of cholera, and the Americans, in spite of all precautions, could not stop the spread of the disease. The streets were flushed at night; districts of native houses were put to the torch, and the detention-camp was full of suffering humanity. The natives, in their ignorance, went through the streets in long processions, carrying the images of saints, chanting, and burning candles, and at night would throw the bodies of the dead into the river or the canal. The ships lay wearily at quarantine out in the bay, and the chorus of bells striking the hour at night was heard over the quiet waters. Officers patrolled the streets, inspected drains and cesspools where the filth of ages had collected, giving the forgotten corners of Manila such a cleaning as they never had received before. But there were days of triumph and rejoicing—days such as had come to Greece and Rome; days when the level of life was raised to heights of inspiration. Not only have the streets re-echoed to the martial music of the victorious Americans when Governor Taft or the vice-governor were welcomed, but the town had rung with shouts of triumph when provincial troops had come back from the conquest of barbarians, or when the fleets returned from victories over the Dutch and English and the Moro pirates of the southern archipelago. And the streets reverberated to the sound of drum and trumpet when, in 1662, the special companies of guards were organized to put down the rebellion of the Chinese in the suburbs. But in 1762 the town capitulated to the English, and the occupation byAmericans more than a century later, was a repetition of the scenes enacted then. Because of the volcanic condition of the island, the houses can not be built more than two stories high. The ground floor is of stone, and contains, besides the storehouse or a suite of living rooms, the stables, arranged around a tiled courtyard, where the carriages are washed. A broad stairway conducts to the main corridor above. The floor, of polished hardwood, is uncarpeted and scrupulously clean. Each morning themuchachos(house-boys) mop the floor with kerosene, skating around the room on rags tied to their feet, or pushing a piece of burlap on all fours across the floor. The walls are frescoed pink and blue; the ceiling is often of painted canvas. The windows, fitted with translucent shell in tiny squares, slide back and forth, so that the balcony can be thrown open to the light. Double walls, making an alcove on one side, keep out the heat of the ascending or descending sun. The balcony at evening is a favorite resort, and visitors are entertained in open air. In the interior arrangement of the houses, little originality is shown, the Spaniards having insisted upon merely formal principles of art. The stiff arrangement of the chairs, facing each other in precise rows, as if a conclave were about to be held, does not invite conviviality. There are few pictures on the walls,—a faded chromo, possibly, in a gilt frame, representing some old-fashioned prospect of Madrid, or the tinted portrait of the royal family. The Spanish residents and themestizosand formality. Five o’clock is theentertain with great politeness fashionable hour for visiting, as earlier in the afternoon the family is liable to be innégligée. The Spanish women, in loose, morning gowns, or blouses, and in flapping slippers, present a rather slovenly appearance during morning hours; also the children, in their “union” suits, split tip the back, impress the stranger as untidy. During the noonsiestaeverybody goes to sleep, to come to life late in the afternoon. At eight o’clock the chandelier is lighted and the evening meal is served. This is a very formal dinner, consisting of innumerable courses of the same thing cooked in different styles. A glass oftintowine, a glass of water, and a toothpick whittled by the loving hands of themuchacho, finishes the meal. The kitchen is located in the rear, and generally overlooks the court, and near by are the bathroom and the laundry. In the walled city small hotels are numerous, their entryways well banked with potted palms. The usual stone courtyard, damp with water, is surrounded by the pony-stalls, where dirty stable-boys go through their work mechanically, smoking cigarettes. The dining-room and office occupy most of the second floor. This is the library, reception-room, and ladies’ parlor, all in one; the guest-rooms open into this apartment. These are very small, containing a big Spanish tester-bed, with a cane bottom, and the other necessary furniture. The sliding windows open out into the street or the attractive courtyard, and the room reminds you somewhat of an opera-box. My own room looked out at the hospital of San José, where a big clock, rather weatherbeaten, tolled the hours. Manila to-day, however, is a contradiction. Striking anachronisms occur from the confusion of Malayan, Asiatic, European, and American traditions. Heavy escort-wagons, drawn by towering army mules, crowd to the wall the fragilequilezand thecarromatatwo-wheeled gigs), with their tough native ponies.( Tall East Indians, in their red turbans; Armenian merchants, soldiers in khaki uniforms, and Chinese coolies bending under heavy loads, jostle each other under the projecting balconies, while Filipinos shuffle peacefully along the curb. The new American saloons look rather out of place in such a curious environment, and telegraph wires concentrated at the city wall seem even more incongruous.
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Chapter II. All About the Town. The wide streets radiating from the Bridge of Spain are lined with lemonade stands, where the cube of ice is sheltered from the sun by striped awnings. Leaving the walled town on the river side—the gate has been destroyed by earthquakes—you can take the ferry over to the Tondo side. The ferryboat is a round-bottomed, wobbly sampan, with a tiny cabin in the stern. You crouch down, waiting for the boat to roll completely over, which at first it seems inclined to do, or try to plan some method of escape in case the pilot gets in front of one of the swift-moving tugs. You have good reason to congratulate yourself on being landed at a stone-quay in a tangle of small launches, ferryboats, andcascoes. The Tondo Canal may be crossed on a covered barge, poled by an ancient boatman, who collects the fares—a copper cent of Borneo, Straits Settlements, or Hong Kong coinage—much in the same way as the pilot of the Styx collects the obolus. Under the long porch of the customs-house, a dummy engine noisily plies up and down among the long-horned carabaos and piles of merchandise. Types of all nations are encountered here. The immigration office swarms with Chinamen herded together, rounded up by some contractor. Every Chinaman must have his photograph, his number, and description in the immigration officer’s possession. Indian merchants, agents of the German, Spanish, and English business firms are looking after new invoices. A party ofAmerican tourists, just arrived from China, are awaiting the inspection of their baggage. The Bridge of Spain, that famous artery of commerce, over which a stream of carabao-carts, crowded tram-cars, pleasure vehicles, and army wagons flows continuously, spans the Pasig River at the head of the Escolta in Binondo. Here the bazaars and European business houses are located, while the avenues that branch off lead to other populous and swarming districts.La Extrameña, a grocery and wine-store; La Estrella del Norte—“The North Star”—diamond and jewelry-store; theSombreria, hatstore, advertised by a huge wooden hat hung out above the street; and a tobacco booth, are situated on the corners where the bridge and the Escolta meet. The Metropolitan policeman—one of the tallAmericanos uniformed in khaki riding-breeches and stiff leggings—who, in former days, controlled the traffic of the street, is now supplanted by a Filipino comic-opera policeman. Very few of the old “Mets” are left. It was a body of picked men, the finest soldiers in the volunteer troops, and the most efficient police force in the world. This officer on the Escolta used to be a genius in his line. When balky Filipino ponies blocked the traffic in the crowded thoroughfare, it was this officer that straightened out the tangle. If the tram-car happened to run off the track, it was the “Met” who showed the driver how to put it on again. The river above the bridge is lined with latticed balconies; but from the veranda of the Paris Restaurant, when that establishment was in its glory, one could sit for hours and watch the bustling river life below. The thatched tops of the huddledcascoscompact roof that extended half across the stream. Uponformed a these nondescript craft hundreds of Filipinos dwelt, doing their washing and their cooking on the decks. The scanty clothes are hanging out to dry on lines, while naked brats are splashing in the dirty water, clinging to the tightened hawser.
All About the Town (The Tops of Cascoes)
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Launches go scudding under the low bridge, rending the air with vicious toots. Unwieldlycascosare poled down the river, laden heavily with cocoanuts and hemp. Small floating islands whirl along in the swift current, and are carried out to sea. At theMuelle del Rey—the “King’s Dock”—lie the inter-island steamers, and the gangs of laborers are busy loading and unloading them. Carabao drays are hauling fragrant cargoes of tobacco and Manila hemp, while over the gangplank runs a chain of men, gutting the warehouse of its merchandise. The captain of theRomulusstands on the bridge, daintily smoking a cigarette, and supervising the disposal of the demijohns oftintowine. The derrick keeps up an incessant racket as the hold is gradually filled. Although theRomulusis advertised to sail to-day at noon, she is as liable to sail at ten o’clock, or possibly to-morrow afternoon; and although bound for Iloilo or Cebu, you can not be at all sure what her destination really is. She may return after a month from a long rambling cruise among the southern isles. The Spanish mariners, in rakish Tam o’Shanter caps, lounge at the entrance to the warehouse, or the office of theCompania Maritima, dreamily smoking cigarettes, sometimes imperiously ordering the laborers to“sigue, hombre!” (get along!) a warning that the Filipino has grown too familiar with to heed. Armenian and Indian bazaars, where ivory and the rich fabrics of the Orient are sold; cafés and drugstores, harness-shops, tobacco-shops, and drygoods-stores, emporiums of every kind,—are found on the Escolta, where the prices would astonish any one not yet accustomed to the manners of the Far East. During the morning hours thequilezand thecarromatarattle along the bumpy cobblestones, the native driver, orcocherowhite shirt, smoking a cigarette, and resting his bare feet upon the, in a dashboard. Behind the curtain of a passingquilez brown eyes, raven hair, andyou can catch a glimpse of olive-tinted cheeks, displayed with all the coquetry of a Manila belle. A Filipino family in a rickety cart, tilted at an impossible angle, are drawn by a moth-eaten pony, mostly bones. Public conveyances—if these are not indeed a myth—are most exasperating. You can never find one when you want it, even at the “Public Carriage Station.” If by chance you come across one in the street, the driver will ignore your signal and drive on. Evidently he selects this walk in life merely to discharge the obligations of his conscience, for he never seems to want a passenger, nor will he take one till he finds his vehicle possessed by strategy. The gamins of the corner offer eagerly to find acarromatafor you, but they frequently forget the object of their mission in their search. Sometimes, when you have ceased to think about acarromata, one of these small ragamuffins will pursue you, with a sheepish-looking coachman and disreputable vehicle in tow. Then twenty boys crowd round and claim rewards for having found a rig for you; as they all look alike, you toss a ten-cent piece among the crowd and let them fight it out among themselves. The driver will begin by making some objection. He will ask to be discharged at noon, or he will make you promise not to turn him over to anotherAmericano. When the preliminary arrangements are completed, lighting his cigarette, he cramps himself up in the box, and, maintaining a continual clucking, larrups his skinny pony as the crazy gig goes rocking down the street. The driver never seems to know the town; even the post-office and the Bridge of Spain areterra incognitato him. And so you guide him, saying “silla,” left, or “mano,” right, “direcho,” straight ahead, and “’spera,” stop. You must be careful when you stop, however, as while you are busy with your purchases, your man is liable to run away. While, as a general rule, he shakes his head at the repeated inquires of “ocupato?” (taken?) even though the carriage may not be engaged, if some one more unscrupulous or desperate should step in, you would find yourself without a rig. And the result would be the same if dinner-time came round, and he had not had “sow sow.” Even the fact that he had not collected any fare would not deter him from his resolution. Is it any wonder, then, that, after all these difficulties, no complaint is made against the rickety, slat-seated carts, with wheels that seem to bar the entrance of the passenger; against the sorry-lookingquilez,—that attenuated two-wheeled ’bus, where the four passengers must sit with interwoven legs, getting the more implicated as the cart goes bounding on? No; the Americans are glad enough to ride in almost any kind of vehicle. But you must be good-natured, even though the cab is tilted at an angle of some thirty-odd degrees, and even though, in getting out, which is accomplished from thequilezin the rear, you lift the tiny pony off his feet. It is enough to take the breath away to ride in one of these conveyances through the congested portions of Manila. Not only does the turning to the left seem strange, but taking the sharp corners—an accomplishment for which the two-wheeled gig is well adapted—frequently comes near precipitating a collision; and, in order to avoid this, the driver pulls the pony to his haunches. When the coast is clear, you will go rattling merrily away, thequilezdoor, unfastened, swinging back and forth abandonedly, regardless of appearances. It is impossible to satisfy the driver on discharging him, unless by paying him three times the fee. The stranger in Manila, counting out the unfamiliarmedia pesosand pesetas, never knows when he has paid enough. Whether to pay his fifteen cents, American or Mexican, for the first hour, and ten cents, orcentavos, for the hour succeeding, and how manymedia pesetas make a quarter of a dollar in our currency,—these are the questions that annoy and puzzle the newcomer, till he learns to disregard expense, and order his livery from the hotels or private stables. At noon the corrugated iron blinds of the shops are pulled down; all the carriages have disappeared; the only sign of life in the Escolta is the comical little tram-car, loaded down with little brown men dressed in white, the driver tooting a toy horn, and all the passengers dismounting to assist the car uphill. The banking center of Manila, built around a dusty plaza in the Tondo district, and consisting of low buildings occupied by offices of shipping and commercial companies, suggests a scene from “The Merchant of Venice” or “Othello.” English firms—such as Warner, Barnes & Co.; Smith, Bell & Co.; the Hong Kong-Shanghai Banking Corporation, where the silverpesosjingle as the deft clerks stack them up or handle them with their small spades—are situated hereabouts.
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Near by, and on an emerald plaza, stand the buildings of the Insular Tobacco Company and of the Oriente Hotel. These buildings are the finest modern structures in Manila. Carriages are waiting in the street in front of the hotel, and at the entrance may be seen a group of army officers in khaki uniform, in white and gold, or—very much more modern—olive drab. The dining-room is entered through the rustling bead-work curtain. Here the Chinese waiters, in long gowns glide noiselessly around. But the Rosario, where opium-saturated Chinamen sit tailor-fashion at the entrance to their little stalls —where narrow galleries and alleys swarm with Chinese life—is one of the most interesting and complex: of all Manila’s thoroughfares. On one side of the street the drygoods-shops are shaded from the sun by curtains in broad stripes of blue and white. The dreamy merchant sits barelegged on the doorsill, and is not to be disturbed by the mere entrance of a purchaser. The opposite side is lined withChinohardware stores, and in each one of them the stock is just the same. These shops supply the stock of merchandise to the provincial agents; for an intricate feudal system is maintained among the Chinese of the archipelago. The rich Manila merchants who have seen their fellow-countrymen safe through from China, and have furnished goods on credit, reap the profits like so many Oriental Shylocks. At four o’clock the shopping begins again in the Escolta. Apparently the whole town has turned out for a ride. Since the Americans have come, odd sights have been seen in Manila,—cavalry horses harnessed to pony vehicles, phaetons drawn by Filipino ponies, and victorias, intended for a pair of native horses, hastily converted into surreys. Not only do the Spanish women come out in their blackmantillas, but the Filipino belles and themestiza, girls, in their stiff dresses ofjoséandpiñacloth. A carriage-load of painted cheeks and burnished pompadours of Japanese frail sisterhood drives by upon its way to the Luneta. Army officers in white dress uniform, the wives and daughters of the officers, bareheaded and in dainty gowns, stop off at Clark’s for lemonade, ice-cream, and candy. Soldiers and sailors strolling along the street, or driving rickety native carts, enjoy themselves after the manner of their kind. A brace of well-kept ponies, tugging like game fish, trot briskly away with jingling harness, with the coachman and the footman dressed in white, a foreign consul lounging in the cushions of the neat victoria. A private carruaje, drawn by a sleek pony, hastens along, the tiny footman clinging on for dear life to the extension seat behind. After the whirl on the Luneta, where the military band plays as the oddly-assorted carriages go circling round like fixtures on a steam carousal, the pleasure-seekers leave the driveway on the sea deserted; soldiers and citizens vacate the green benches, and adjourn for dinner. The Spanish life is best seen at the Metropole, whereseñors,señoritas, andseñoras, exquisitely gowned, sip cognac and coffee at the little tables, carrying on an animated conversation, with expressive flashes of bright eyes or gestures with elaborately-jeweled hands. Below, in the Luzon café, the Rizal orchestra is playing the impassioned Spanish waltzes, “Sobre las Olas,” “La Palomathe guffaws of soldiers. When the evening program,” to the click of billiard balls and ends with “Dixie,” every soldier in a khaki uniform—bronzed, grizzled fellows, many of them back from some campaign out in the provinces—will rise immediately to his feet, respectfully remove his hat, and as the music that reminds him of the home-land swells and gathers volume, fill the corridors with cheer upon cheer as the lights are put out; then the sleeping coachman rouses himself, and starts the reluctant pony on the journey home.
Chapter III. The White Man’s Life. It happened that my first home in Manila was a temporary one, shared with a hundred others, at thenipa barracks at the Exposition grounds. Who of all those that were similarly situated will forget the long row of mimosa-trees that made a leafy archway over the cool street; or the fruit merchants squatting beside the bunches of bananas and the tiny oranges spread out upon the ground? There was the pink pavilion where that enterprising Chinaman, Ah Gong, conducted his indifferent restaurant. After these many days I can still hear the clatter of the plates, the jingle of the knives and forks, placed on the tables by the Chinese waiters. There was the crowd on the veranda waiting for the second table, opening their correspondence as they waited. And what an indescribable sensation was imparted on receiving the first letter in a foreign land! The long, cool barrack-rooms were swept by the fresh breezes. Here, in the bungalow, the army cots had been arranged in rows and covered by mosquito-bars suspended from the wires stretched overhead. When tucked inside of the mosquito-bar, one felt as though he were a part of a menagerie. “Muchachowas the first new word you learned. It was advisable to call for amuchachooften, even though you did not need his services, in order to exploit your own experience and your superiority. And here you were first cheated by the wily Chinese peddlers—although you had cut them down to half their price—when they unrolled their packs of crêpe pajamas, net-work underwear, and other merchandise.
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And all one Sunday afternoon you listened to a lecture from the President of the Manila Board of Health, who told of the diseases that the flesh was heir to in the Philippines, and cheerfully assured you that within a month or two your weight would be reduced to the extent of twenty-five or fifty pounds. And after dinner—where you learned thatchiquosgood deal like potatoes, were a kind ofthough they looked a fruit—while you were strolling down the avenue beyond the markethouse, you got a ducking from a sudden shower that ceased quite as unceremoniously as it had begun. There was excitement in the bungalow that night because of its invasion by a hostile monkey. An impromptu vigilance committee finally succeeded in ejecting the unwelcome visitor, persuading him of the superior advantages of “Barracks B.” Together with a few dissenters, I moved out next morning, finding better quarters in the first floor of a Spanish house in Magallanes. We made the best of an old ruin opposite, which we considered picturesque, and which was occupied by Filipino squatters, who conducted a hand laundry there. Our first muchachous by existing on the ten-cent dinners of the Chinese chophouse on the, Valentine, surprised corner. But he assured us that it was a good place; that the greasy Chinaman, who fried the sausages and boiled the rice back in the tiny den, was a great favorite. At our own restaurant, two Negro women made the best corn-fritters we had ever tasted; a green parrot and a monkey squawked and chattered on the balustrade; a Filipino boy played marches on a cracked piano-forte. And so we lived behind the heavily-barred windows, watching the shifting throng—the staggering coolies, girls with trays of oranges upon their heads, and men in curiously fashioned hats—driving around the city in the afternoon (for Valentine was at his best in gettingcarromatasunder false pretenses) till the little family broke up. The first to go returned after a day or two, almost in tears with the alarming information that the mayor of the town that he had been assigned to was a naked savage; that what he supposed was pepper on the fried eggs he had had for breakfast, had turned out to be black ants—and wouldn’t we please pay hiscarromatafare, because he was completely out of funds? The carabao carts gradually removed our baggage. Valentine was faithful to the last. Most of us met each other later, and exchanged notes. One had escaped the target practice of ladrones; one had been lost among the mountains of Benguet; another had been carried to Manila on a coasting steamer, reaching the Civil hospital in time to fight against the fevers that had wasted him; and poor Fitz died of cholera in one of the most lonely villages among the Negros hills. “Won’t those infernal bells stop ringing for a while and let a fellow go to sleep?” said Howard as he got out of bed. “Look at those creatures, will you?” pointing to the fat mosquitoes at the top of the mosquito-bar “The vampires! How do you suppose they got in, anyway?” . “It beats me,” said the Duke. “It isn’t the mosquitoes or the bells: that ball of fire that’s shining through the window makes a perfect oven of the room.” The merciless sun had risen over the low roofs of the walled city, and the heat was radiating from the white walls and the scorching streets. The Duke was sitting on the edge of the low army cot in his pajamas and his bedroom slippers, smoking a native cigarette. “It must be about ten o’clock,” said Howard. “I wonder if the Chinaman left any breakfast for us ” . “Probably. A couple of cold fried eggs, or a clammy dish of oatmeal and condensed milk. Shall we get up and go somewhere?” “I can’t find any clothes,” said Howard; “this place is turning into a regular chaos, anyway.” It was indeed a chaos,—lines of clothes where the mosquitoes swarmed, papers and books scattered about the floor, pajamas, duck suits, towels on every chair, and muddy white shoes strewn around. “Doesn’t the muchachoever clean things up?” “That’s nothing,” said the Duke; “wait till the Chinaman runs off with all your washing. I can lend you a white suit; and, say,—tell themuchachoto come in andblancoa few shoes.”
As there are no apartment-houses in Manila, the young clerk on small salary will usually live in a furnished room in the walled city. For the first few months it is a rather dreary life. The cool veranda and the steamer chair, after the day’s work, is a luxury denied the youngAmericans within the city walls. The list of amusements that Manila offers is an unattractive one. There is a baseball game between two companies of soldiers, or between the Government employees representing different departments. There is the cock-fight out at Santa Ana, Sunday mornings andfiestadays; but this is mostly patronized by natives, and is not especially agreeable to Americans. The Country club—reached after a long drive out Malate way, past the Malate fort that bears the marks of Dewey’s shells, past the old church once occupied by soldiers, through the rice-pads where the American troops first met the Insurrecto firing line—is little more than a mere gambling-house. It is now visited by those whose former resorts in the walled city have been broken up by the constabulary. The races of the Santa Mesa Jockey dub are held on Sunday afternoons. It is a rather dusty drive out to the track. A number of noisy “road-houses” along the way, where drinking is going on; the Paco cemeter where the bleached bones have been iled around the cross —these are the sole diversions that
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